Another shaky outing from Simona. Alja had her on the ropes in the second set, doing exactly what you're supposed to do against Simona: Be aggressive on return and stay in the rallies with slicing and lobbing instead of going for winners. Make Simona win the point on her own. Most of the time, she can't do it. Throw in some drop shots too to get her off the baseline. Simona's about as hopeless a player as there is away from the baseline. In long rallies, Simona was consistently winning around 4 points in each set. Alja had 18 in the second set alone.
And then she just went away in the third. I guess she didn't have the stamina to keep running side to side, slicing balls back.
Simona now has one of the softest quarters I've ever seen in a Slam draw. As limited as her game is, she really has no excuse not to reach at least the SF. That or losing another final will probably be enough for her.
Ajla only hit six UE with aggressive tennis in the second set which was a level almost impossible for her to keep up in the deciding set. Some amazing points to watch in this contest though, Simona in the end was just much more steady overall.
The difference between Ajla in the 2nd and 3rd sets was like night and day. :lol: I couldn't believe how sturdy she was in those longer rallies in set 2, and then she just completely disappeared. It felt like she barely won a point until 5-0 down, just couldn't find the court.
I expected a more routine loss for her though so i'm more surprised that she even brought that 2nd set level than I was by the drop off.
Thank the Gods. I couldn't bear the fall out of a 1st round exit for Simona. Of everyone left in the tourney I pray to the Gods she takes the title. I hope this was just 1st round jitters and she now sails and soars her way through.
The epitome of a perfect patch from Tomlijanovic in that second set. Was gritting it out as well as Halep in the long rallies but coming back with absolute bombs off the ground. It's a shame her wonky technique and poor match-playing skills don't really allow her to play like that for very long. Most of the time she plays like a budget Ivanovic (which is saying something).